New annual insurance declaration
Important information for members regarding a change to their insurance cover
As part of managing the College’s insurance provision, we are introducing a new annual declaration that all members covered under the College’s insurance need to tick to show they have read and understood.
The declaration highlights an expectation that has always been part of the terms of the insurance and appears in the College’s Professional Standards. It is to ensure that all members are aware of their responsibility to notify the College in a timely way of any potential claims and that they understand they should be adhering to the Clinical Standards.
You can find the declaration in Your Profile when you log onto the website.
If you have not logged into the website recently, you can click the Forgot password link to reset your password and use your membership number as your username.
- Where do I find the declaration?
If you log into the members’ website the declaration can be found by following this link: https://membersarea.rcpod.org.uk/profile#MEMBER.INSURANCE.DECLARATION
- When do I need to tell the Royal College that something has happened? Do I need to tell you every time I heam someone?
You do not need to tell us every time you heam someone unless you feel it was particularly deep and serious. We do need you to contact the Professional Officers at email@example.com if you receive an official patient complaint (by email, letter or social media) which you feel could progress in some way ie, to a HCPC complaint/litigation, a solicitors letter, Coroner’s Court letter or HCPC letter.
The Professional Officers are here to support you and have expert training in complaints handling and management to assist you. Their assistance can help prevent the complaint from progressing further as well as provide a resolution for both you and the patient. If you are not sure whether to contact us or not, then err on the side of caution and get in touch. You can always send the patient a holding email to say you are investigating and will respond to them in full shortly.
- Is this a change in our terms and conditions?
The declaration highlights an expectation that has always been part of the terms of the insurance. However, it has always been passively assumed/inferred that members have read the terms of the insurance and are aware of them. We have been asked by our insurer to actively demonstrate that members are aware of this expectation. This is as a result of previous cases where members have known of the complaint for some time and have not notified the College or kept themselves abreast of the Clinical and Professional Standards. Failing to notify the College deprives you of valuable professional support and assistance during a stressful time and limits the ability for the claim to be appropriately managed.
The introduction of this declaration is about ensuring that all members are aware of their responsibility to notify the College in a timely way of any potential claims and that they should be adhering to the Clinical Standards.
It also appears in our Professional Standards for members (Standard 6), which were last updated in January 2021:
6. Inform the College of any Fitness to Practice, disciplinary or litigation cases against you at the earliest opportunity.Members are required to inform the College of any of the above as soon as possible after they are aware of proceedings. The College can provide you with support and guidance throughout the processes. As your indemnity insurance provider, it is important that you engage with the College as soon as possible in the event of a legal claim (or threatened legal claim) against you to allow appropriate handling of the complaint. Where an HCPC Fitness to Practice complaint has been received then the College can provide you with expert advice and representation which is included with your membership. You should inform the College by contacting the Professional Officers on 0207 234 8652 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members who have claims against them, where known, have an obligation to inform the College. This includes claims arising from podiatric practice and other professional work which may not be directly linked to podiatry. In the event that a member holds multiple policies then a claim may only be made against one indemnity policy.
- If we tick the box, is this a way for the College not to cover us if we get a claim?
There has always been a caveat in the insurance cover which says members may invalidate their insurance if they do not declare their claims or do not follow our standards. This is very rarely invoked as we understand members can and do make mistakes. However, members need to be aware that it is their responsibility to contact us correctly and to keep up to date with our Standards as well as their CPD, as is expected by the HCPC and of any other healthcare professional. The insurers have requested that we actively get members to acknowledge their understanding of this.
- What happens if we do not tick the box?
If you do not tick the box, then this may invalidate the insurance the College provides to you.